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05th Jun 2014

World Cup preview, Group F: Argentina

Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero... They're second favourites for a reason, you know?

Tony Cuddihy

Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero… They’re second favourites for a reason, you know?

Ladbrokes World Cup banner

Top Man

Do you really need to ask? Lionel Messi is not only the star of this Argentina side, but he’s one of the best players in the history of the game. The season just passed was not one of Messi’s greatest – he only managed 28 goals in 31 games for Barcelona in La Liga.

That should tell you all you need to know about the 26-year-old, who just needs one World Cup win to climb into the same revered territory as Pele and Diego Maradona.

You wouldn’t bet against him, even though his form for Argentina has never quite matched that of his club team.

Rising star

The youngest player in the Argentina squad is 24 – defender Marcos Rojo – so the term ‘rising star’ doesn’t particularly apply here. Instead we’re going to tip Gonzalo Higuain to have an excellent tournament alongside Messi and Sergio Aguero, with the Napoli striker one of the most feared finishers in world football.

Did you know?

There are as many household names left out of the squad as in the squad – Ever Banega, Erik Lamela, Carlos Tevez and Javier Pastore all failed to make Alejandro Sabella’s squad.

Reasons for Irish fans to support them

Argentina is home to the fifth largest Irish community in the world. In the world! That’s good enough for us.

They’re also likely to play some of the best football of the tournament.

If they were a TV series

Family Guy – led by a little genius, the rest of the cast isn’t bad either (H/T Sean Nolan, who got me out of a braindead bind with this one).


They’ll easily top the group and be in with a serious shout in the later stages.

Odds with Ladbrokes: 4/1